Chapter 3: The Illegal Driver

"So. Seeing that we've known each other for fifteen minutes already, are you going to tell me your name?"


"Oh, come on."

I folded my arms over my chest, sinking far, far down into the passenger seat. The guy next to me, Adam Williams, is a freshman. An asshole way too friendly for his own good. Not to mention an illegal driver.

"Well, let's see," he said, tapping a finger against the wheel. "My name is Adam, and I'm fifteen. I'll turn sixteen in July. I live in a little blue house with Mom, Dad, and Sister."

I said nothing.

"I went to Rooftop Middle School, and I really wanted to be a veterinarian when I was little. As for tastes in music, I listen mostly to alternative."

I still said nothing.

"...My favorite color is maroon."

Jesus. I could practically carry on a conversation with him without saying a word. Or at least that was what I was thinking before he pulled the car over.

"Okay, Ms. Whatever-your-name-is," he said, looking at me with a smile. "Either tell me your name, or you can walk the remaining way to your house."

I could tell from where we were at that there were still two miles to go. And then I see this unwanted flashback of me, passed out half-way through the 5th grade mile test, and being forced into amateur CPR. Knowing that I couldn't run a mile if my life depended on it, I finally gave in to him. "Fine. It's Nancy. Are you happy now?"

"Nancy?" he repeated, sounding puzzled. "...As in Nancy Drew?"

"Yeah, you idiot. Is there a problem?"

"No, no. It's just that I thought you'd be more of the..." He made a weird circular hand motion.

"Both hands on the wheel, Williams. I'm not gonna die today. More of the...?"

"More of the Sam, Alex, Jordan kind," he said, shrugging.

I stared at him blankly, not even bothering to narrow my eyes anymore. My dreams of burning a hole all the way through his head were crushed long ago. "What are you implying, jackass? Those are all guy names, too."

He tried to hold back a smile(unsuccessfully) and said, "Well, don't tell me you see yourself as a Priscilla."

I rolled my eyes.

Bracing myself for more conversation with the devil, I practiced breathing in and out like yoga instructors always mention to do. But he didn't say anything more. Finally, I thought. Some peace and quiet. Maybe he had just caught on to the fact that I hated him. I glanced at my watch. Six more minutes until I reached home - safe and sound! Soon it'd be-

"So Nancy..." Dammit! Shut. Up. Not again! "...Left or right?"

Oh...directions. My bad. "Uh...take a left here, and go straight."

"Mm...Hey! You live on Exeter?"


"Me too! Wow. Coincidence. What's the address?"

Why is it that whenever I think he's about to shut up, he goes into something again? "I'll tell you when we get there. Can you shut your mouth now?"

"Excuse me - who's the driver today?"

"120 Exeter Avenue," I reported bitterly.

"No problem." I caught his smile from my side view.

Tucking in my knees further, I looked outside the window and watched the trees blur by. I thought that by the end of this long and painful drive, I would definitely shoot my own brains out. But I was already going insane long before then.

"Jesus!" I yelled, after he'd started up the "getting to know you" thing again. "I swear I'm going to murder you in your sleep! Tell me - do you want to die? Do you? You don't have to know every single damn thing about me, you crazy bastard! Just drop me off here!"

"Hey, no swearing in the vehicle."

I was about to retaliate when the car stopped suddenly in the street. "What are you doing?"

Mr. Talkative Williams didn't respond. He was rolling down the window to call out to the last person I expected to see. That's right: It was Serena Bitch. She waved to him and started walking closer to the car.

Wait...No. That couldn't be. Don't tell me that she's his...his girlfriend?! GROSS. THAT IS GROSS! Oh great. Am I gonna hurl?

"Hey sis!"

Oh. Sister and brother. Wait, that's still disturbing. Now I'll have to think about which sibling I hate more. Serena Williams turned her head to look at younger brother Adam Williams.

"Adam?" she asked in her ugly, ultra-peppy voice.

"What are you doing here, Serena?"

"Justin kicked me out of his car." Now I remember! That guy she stole from me is named Justin! I can't believe she's still with him. How sad. Well, I guess she saw me, because suddenly her mouth dropped open. "Allie!"

"Yea, I knoooow," I said, dragging out the last word. "When we were together, Justin used to do that all the time. He's such a loser. Thanks for taking him off my hands!" I didn't mention the fact that I only broke up with him because of her, but Serena didn't need to know that.

She said nothing, only giving me a little pout. That's all. I mean - if I were Serena, I'd have smacked myself right then. Seriously. The wimp needs to grow some backbone. Or at least some kind of spiky purse.

If Adam had sensed the tension between us, he didn't show it at all. He just stood there with his eyes slightly wider than usual, giving the two of us a "you know each other?" look.

"I'm outta here," I declared. I wouldn't be able to stand the rest of the drive with Adam, let alone with both of them. I grabbed my bag, hopped out of the car, and walked the rest of the way home. It only took a minute. No strain, no pain. And did I mention it was way better than being stuck with that guy?

I shuffled through all the crap in my bag, feeling around for my house key. It took me a minute to finally realize why I couldn't find it, no matter how hard I looked.

"That bastard stole my key!"

"Correction - you left it in my car. And after repeatedly hearing over twenty different profanities from you, I'm not quite sure if I want to give it back."

"Shut up, dick face!"

"That's twenty-one."

Mr. Williams seemed to have a peachy good time tormenting me by dangling my house key high over his head and speaking in calm little sentences that made me sick. I was running around and chasing him on his front lawn trying to get them back. And unless I was going deaf, he was still trying to get to know me.

"Give it, now!" I said, my jaw tense. But even though I sounded dangerous(which I can be at times), I stood at a tiny 5'4, and he at a not-so-tiny 6'something. It was definitely not right for him to be this tall.

"Hmm...well I don't know," said Adam, using his free hand to rub his chin thoughtfully. "You haven't been cooperative at all today. I mean - what will you do for me if I give it back?"

"Anything," I said, when I absolutely, positively shouldn't have. Dammit. Someone always gets in trouble when they say 'anything.'

"Anything?" he asked.

"Yea. I'll do your homework for a week or something. It'll be easy 'cause you're a freshman. So just give me back the key." He smiled, and I thought he had taken my homework offer into consideration. It turned out he wanted more.

Adam took a step forward, and I took one back. My shoulder hit the side of his house, and I realized he had me cornered. "Uh...what are you doing?"

"'Anything,'" he quoted. He stepped closer to me again, and I wondered exactly what he meant. Was he going to mug me? Strip me? No. As evil as he was, he wouldn't go that far.

But what he would do, was lean down, take my chin...and kiss me.